The saint is shown in the wilderness and dressed in camel hair, in reference to Matthew 3: 1-4, and Mark 1: 4-6.

The painting achieved some fame in the 18th century, when it was thought to be by Murillo, although it is possible that there is studio intervention. It was owned from 1787-89 by the artist Gainsborough.

Key facts

Artist dates
1617 - 1682
Full title
Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
120 x 105.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Mond Bequest, 1924
Inventory number
Location in Gallery